The issue of adolescents and poor sleep has been vexing experts in public health for over a century. This is not a new problem for well-being, but despite longstanding recognition, the pattern of the preceding century has been a steadily decreasing amount of childhood sleep (Matricciani LA, Olds TS, Blunden S, Rigney G, Williams MT, Pediatrics 129(3):548–556, 2012). Paradoxically, the extent and ... [Show full abstract] severity of this problem is perhaps easiest to ignore because of how widespread it is – sleep deprived teenagers are regarded as normal. Some 33% of young Australians report difficulties falling asleep, and on average Australian teenagers are thought to get 8 hours of sleep per night, an hour short of the recommended amount of adolescent sleep (Short MA, Gradisar M, Lack LC, Wright HR, Dohnt H, J Adolesc 36(1):103–110, 2013). It is worth reflecting on the causes of this lost hour and the potential consequences of widespread chronic sleep deprivation. This is not an individual problem, but a public health issue that schools are well placed to take part in addressing.